Health & Safety, Leadership

Commanding Stress

Issue 08 and Volume 173.

By Thomas Dunne The chief was hoping to finally receive some good news. He had been at the scene for more than a half hour, and things were not going well. Noise echoed throughout the hospital lobby, making it hard for him to concentrate at the command post. A major electrical problem in the area had knocked out power to a four-block area, and a smoke condition in the hospital basement had somehow drifted through vertical channels up to the seventh floor. The heavy concrete construction of the building initially hindered radio communication with firefighters on the upper floors; now, no transmissions were being received at all. The chief ordered a unit to ascend the stairs in an attempt to set up a radio relay and get some sense of what was happening above. Moments later, the building engineer informed him that the hospital’s emergency generators were malfunctioning and there…

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